Brooks Ghost 16 review

7 expert score
7 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 27th May by Larry Lam Larry runs since high school any distance up to 50k.
14 other reviews

Brooks Ghost 16 Verdict

The Brooks Ghost 16 is a neutral-cushioned daily trainer built for daily mileage with the intention to deliver a nicely cushioned experienced. The overall theme for this shoe is that there nothing to hate about the shoe and there’s also nothing to love about it either. I don’t think it delivers on the well-cushioned experience yet it certainly delivers as a daily trainer.

The pros

  • Solid, durable construction
  • Good outsole traction
  • Nothing to hate

The cons

  • Not plush enough
  • Nothing stands out


Rating breakdown

Comfort
8.0
Build quality
10
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
10
Value / Price
8.0

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
Ghost 16
Family
Previous model
Weight
9.5 oz (269 g)
MSRP
$140.00

Heel
36 mm.
Toe
24 mm.
Heel drop
12 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Normal

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced
Amount of cushioning
Medium cushioning
Stability
Some stability
Flexibility
Rigid

Usage

Racing
Speedwork
Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Brooks Ghost 16 ?

If you have been a Brooks Ghost user and have loved the shoe, then this will probably continue that run for you. If you’re looking for a basic daily trainer that provides some plushness, enough support, and just enough responsiveness, then this shoe will meet your needs.

Who should not buy the Brooks Ghost 16 ?

If you’re in the market for a plush daily trainer, a shoe that will propel you in your run, or a shoe that has a soft midsole, then you will not be happy with this shoe. I had some issues with my feet getting uncomfortable and overheating on a long run with these shoes as well.

Brooks Ghost 16 Introduction

Picture of Brooks Ghost 16

The Brooks Ghost 16 is the brand’s daily trainer meant for daily miles while giving your feet plenty of comfort and support.

In the lineup of the brand, this shoe is a step below the Glycerin in terms of full plush, high cushioned shoe.

For comparison, New Balance has the 880 and Asics has the Gel-Cumulus that would be comparable to this shoe.

Brooks also has the Ghost Max which is a similar shoe to the Ghost 16 but it has a much higher stack height, lower heel-to-toe drop (6mm), and more cushion.

This is the 16th iteration of the shoe. In comparison the Ghost 15, there were a few notable improvements.

The midsole was updated to their DNA Loft v3, which is supposed to be lighter and softer than their previous version. The shoe also added an extra millimeter in stack height but kept the 12mm heel-to-toe drop.

The upper was redesigned to be softer and more breathable than the previous version. The result of these changes actually helped the shoe drop a half ounce of weight to come in around 9.5 oz for men’s size 9.

Brooks Ghost 16 First Impressions

Picture of Brooks Ghost 16


My first impression of the shoe upon opening the box was that the shoe colorways were just… ok. Something is missing from the outward design of the shoe that really makes me want to put some miles in it.

My first run in the shoe was a shakeout run the day before a 5k. I wanted to see how the shoes would do with some easy miles plus strides. The shoe did fine although I wanted a little more pop to the shoe that it just didn’t give.

If you’ve read my review of the Asics Gel-Cumulus, that shoe had a rocker that seemed to propel me forward even on my easy days. No such luck with this shoe.

That said, this shoe did the job. My next couple runs were a warmup and cool down for said 5k, a recovery run, then a tempo run. Once again, the shoe did the job. Was it a great job? I can’t say that. But there’s nothing I could actually complain about either. It was just… ok. It was comfortable enough, could handle the easy, recovery, and tempo runs just enough, and didn’t get in my way.

Brooks Ghost 16 Upper

Picture of Brooks Ghost 16

The upper of the shoe is supposed to be an improvement from the previous version. By all accounts, the upper is better as it is softer and clearly more breathable from a construction point of view.

I did have some complaints about it as I ran a long run in the hot, humid North Carolina air and my feet felt uncomfortable after about 90 minutes. I also started to get a few hot spots on my toes and forefoot.

Picture of Brooks Ghost 16

My foot just didn’t feel comfortable. It wasn’t so bad that I actually got any blisters or that I wanted to stop, it just didn’t feel great.

The back of the shoe is low cut as well, which is something I’m not used to. It’s nothing I can complain about but I definitely see how that can at least reduce friction in the ankle area.

The tongue and laces are standard feeling. The laces do stay tied on a single tie for at least 2 hours. The upper is well constructed and I suspect that it will outlast the rubber outsole.

Brooks Ghost 16 Sole Unit

Picture of Brooks Ghost 16

In terms of the sole unit, the midsole foam is Brooks’ proprietary DNA Loft v3. It’s lightweight and softer than their previous version. In this particular shoe, the stack height 36mm in the heel and 24mm in the toe, giving it a 12mm offset.

For me, this type of offset typically helps propel me forward a bit, but I didn’t notice that for this shoe.

The shoe is cushioned but not the softest. It rated similar to how the New Balance Fresh Foam 880 felt. Soft but not soft enough. Again, just… ok. The ride of the shoe was a typical ride.

There isn’t an obvious rocker technology to it. Brooks says that it has made the crash pad (i.e. the outsole of the forefoot) segmented, which is supposed to help promote an easy flow on your ride. I didn’t notice that.

I want to reiterate, there’s nothing bad about the midsole. It does the job but I don’t think it does anything great. In comparison to the Asics Gel-Cumulus 26, I thought the Cumulus was both softer and had a better ride.

Picture of Brooks Ghost 16

The outsole might be one of the more standout parts of the shoe. I did take the shoe on both a wet-road run and run in the rain. The grip of the road was really good, not excellent like PUMAGRIP on some of the Puma shoes, but really good. The outsole is well constructed and after 60 miles, there was very little sign of wear.

Brooks Ghost 16 Conclusions

Overall, the Brooks Ghost 16 does the job as a neutral, daily trainer. I don’t think it stands out in any way.

In terms of price, it’s the same price as the New Balance Fresh Foam 880 and the Asics Gel-Cumulus 26.

If I was choosing between those 3 at the same price then I’m choosing the Cumulus. It has a rocker, feels softer, and is a half ounce lighter.

For the Brooks Ghost lovers of the past, this shoe continues to do what it has done which is give you something that will stand the test of time over miles. From my point of view, I think there are better options out there that give you more for the same price.

How does the Ghost 16 compare?

Saucony Ride 17
Brooks Ghost 16
Asics Gel Cumulus 26
Expert score
9
7
8
User score
Retail price
US$140
US$139.95
US$139.95
Weight
10.1 oz
9.5 oz
8.9 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
12 mm
8 mm
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training
Daily training
Cushioning type
responsive/balanced
balanced
responsive/balanced
Cushioning amount
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
Flexibility
flexible
rigid
rigid
Stability
very stable
some stability
some stability
Sizing
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Brooks at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.

Reviewed by Larry

This review was written by Larry Lam on 27th May.
Larry lives outside of Raleigh, NC with his wife, 3 kids, and his dog. He's been running since high school and loves pretty much any distance up to the 50k. Larry enjoys running for both fun and competition - in that order. Outside of running, Larry chauffeurs his kids around to their various exploits - soccer, swimming, track, dance, music, etc.

User feedback (1)

  • avatar-comment-1037709
    Chris Yardley
    3 weeks ago
    7 score

    Seems to have far less cushioning than previous ghost models

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